I woke up this morning and told myself, “Jon, you are not going to write about Nail Yakupov’s goal celebration today.” And then, of course, this being a hockey-mad city and major Canadian media center, nearly every locker room scrum I was in contained multiple angles and questions centered around the celebration. So here we are. I see no problem with how Yakupov, a 19-year-old teenager, decided to celebrate his second professional goal and one that tied the game at home with five seconds remaining in regulation. It’s why EA Sports’ NHL series has the post-goal celebration button that allows you to slide on your knees on the ice after scoring: what would hockey be without passion?

Stir me if he decides to celebrate like that tonight. This only becomes an issue if he shows a penchant for continually showing his opponents up, which he has hasn’t done. Hit the jump for some interesting takes.

Kings Head Coach Darryl Sutter, on whether the celebration “a big deal”:
“If you score, you get the right to celebrate. If you don’t, you don’t.”

Oilers Head Coach Ralph Kruger, on if he would be angry if he was on the other bench:
“Not at all. I don’t think it’s a factor at all. I think they don’t like where they are in the standings. I don’t think they liked what happened in the Chicago game. That’s what I would be angry about, and I’m sure they are too. Our game against them here was just a real special hockey game with the exuberance of a young player celebrating something very special happening in his life. That was all that was, and I don’t think there was anybody in that L.A. Kings room feeling any anger towards that kid. I really don’t. I don’t think it’s a factor. I think it’s more of where they are right now in their season. We have to be aware [of] how great that team is and how dangerous they can be in this situation.”

Jarret Stoll, on the celebration:
“It was a big goal for him. He got those two points out of the deal. He’s an exciting player, loves to score goals. That’s all I’ll say about it. We’re focusing on tonight’s game, and what happened last game is obviously out of the memory.”

Drew Doughty, on whether the celebration was really “an issue”:
“I don’t know if it’s an issue. Obviously, being on the opposing team, you don’t want to see a guy celebrate right in front of your bench down the ice like that. But, you know, whatever. It’s in the past now. I’m sure no one’s going to be soft on him, that’s for sure, after doing that. We’re going to play him hard and make clean hits. It’s in the past now, and we’d like to get back.”

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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